Yesterday Gitika wished she could fish. On Monday I was wishing I could, just for once, win an argument.
It happened at the Préfecture (call it the town hall) where I’d gone to find out if I could give my old car to someone else who would use it on private land for transporting their animal feed. I’d already done my research on their website and it looked a lot like I could, and there was a form for exactly that situation. So I downloaded it and filled it in. But just to be sure, I went down to the Préfecture to ask in person. Hmm.
The way it’s setup is that they have a pre-screening lady at reception whose job it is to make sure you have all the right documents before she’ll let you have a ticket to join the queue. I’ve seen how she works during previous visits and let’s say, she doesn’t like anomalous situations. No matter, I didn’t think I was a particularly unusual case.
I’d hardly been able to finish my explanation before she issued her verdict. ‘No! You can’t do that. You either have to put it through an MOT and sell it, or you have to take it to the scrapyard’ (note the lack of a third option of giving your car away). At this point I pulled out the usual form people fill in for these procedures. ‘This form?’ I say. ‘Yes, that’s it’, she replies.
Aha! Perfect. Right answer. Now I can pull out my trump card – the other form. The one that declares you are voluntarily taking your vehicle off the road. ‘So what is this form for then?’ I ask. She glances at it. ‘It’s the same as the other one’ comes the reply. ‘No it’s not’, I say. ‘That one is if you sell or scrap your car, and this one is if your car is off the road’. ‘Where did you get that from?’ she demands as she pulls it out of my hand to take a closer look. ‘From your website’, I say. ‘Well’, she says, pushing it back at me, ‘it’s useless. It’s the same as the other one’.
At this point I decided I’d lost the argument, gave in, and left. But as soon as I walked out the door I wished I hadn’t. I wished I’d stood my ground and made her find out what the other form was for. I can’t take refuge in a lack of French. I was managing OK, and I suspect that if the whole thing had been in English I would have behaved no differently.
Note to self. Must do better 😦
Song of the day
I must have heard this somewhere recently cos it’s been going round my head all day. Today’s tune is Sheryl Crow (who isn’t Cheryl Cole) with Soak up the Sun.